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Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

TMJ Specialist Louisville, KY - TMJ Treatment - Teeth Grinding Solutions

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the sliding hinge that connects your lower jawbone to your skull. Sometimes, this joint can become misaligned, resulting in various oral health complications: clenching and grinding your teeth, difficulty in moving your jaw, overall pain in or around the jaw or ear, and discomfort or aching when chewing food. If these symptoms are common occurrences for you, you may have TMJ disorder.

As a craniofacial pain specialist, Dr. Michael Barnett is able to determine if you have TMJ disorder and can provide orthopedic treatments for the condition. With extensive training and some of the most advanced equipment in the industry, Dr. Barnett is recognized as the leading TMJ Specialist in Louisville.

What is TMJ disorder?

 
The three components of the temporomandibular joint are the bones of the jaw and skull, the cartilage which covers these bones, and a fluid-filled disk that cushions these bones while aligned. TMJ disorder can occur if any one of these elements is injured or misaligned. What causes this damage or displacement is not always clear, but it most commonly is the result of arthritis or traumatic jaw injury.

Our Louisville TMJ dentist, Dr. Barnett, is able to help diagnose the condition. TMJ disorder often causes a clicking sound when your mouth opens and closes; by listening to the jaw, Dr. Barnett can confirm the presence of the disorder. He can then examine the range of motion in the jaw to see if function has been limited in any way. Lastly, he can identify sources of pain, which will help determine whether the joint is the source.

TMJ Treatments

Once it is determined that the temporomandibular joint is the source of facial pain and difficulty chewing, our Jeffersontown TMJ dentist can determine the best treatment plan for your needs.

For most TMJ disorder cases, Dr. Barnett will prescribe an oral splint. This bite guard can be soft or firm, depending on the needs of the particular case, and is worn by inserting the device over the teeth. The supportive pressure of these orthopedic appliances prevent teeth clenching, teeth grinding, and the overall motion of the joint during sleep. Different types of splints can focus more on treating one of these different symptoms.

Call Us Today!

Dr. Barnett at Stony Brook Dental Care can diagnose and treat the TMJ disorders of Jeffersontown and the neighboring Louisville suburbs: Hurstbourne, Douglas Hills, Hurstbourne Acres, Forest Hills, Houston Acres, and Fern Creek. To learn more about treatment for temporomandibular joint disorder, or to schedule your TMJ consultation, call us today!

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